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Emails: Open Society Kept Alleged ‘Whistleblower’ Eric Ciaramella Updated on George Soros’s Personal Ukraine Activities


Written by Aaron Klein | 

URL of the original posting site: https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/11/17/emails-open-society-kept-alleged-whistleblower-eric-ciaramella-updated-on-george-soross-personal-ukraine-activities/

George Soros, Chairman, Soros Fund Management and Open Society, testifies before US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry on ‘Foreign Policy and the Global Economic Crisis’ March 25, 2009, on Capitol Hill, in Washington, DC. AFP Photo/Paul J. Richards (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)

Eric Ciaramella, whom Real Clear Investigations suggests is the likely so-called whistleblower, received emails about Ukraine policy from a top director at George Soros’s Open Society Foundations.

The emails informed Ciaramella and a handful of other Obama administration foreign policy officials about Soros’s whereabouts, the contents of Soros’s private meetings about Ukraine and a future meeting the billionaire activist was holding with the prime minister of Ukraine.

A primary recipient of the Open Society emails along with Ciaramella was then-Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, who played a central role in the anti-Trump dossier affair. Nuland, with whom Ciaramella worked closely, received updates on Ukraine issues from dossier author Christopher Steele in addition to her direct role in facilitating the dossier within the Obama administration.

The emails spotlight Soros’s access to national security officials under the Obama administration on the matter of Ukraine. In one instance, Jeff Goldstein, senior policy analyst for Eurasia at the Open Society Foundations, sent a June 9, 2016 email to Nuland and Ciaramella, who were the missive’s primary recipients.

CC’d were three other State Department officials involved in European affairs, including Alexander Kasanof who worked at the U.S. embassy in Kiev.

The message read:

I wanted to let you know that Mr. Soros met with Johannes Hahn in Brussels earlier today. One of the issues he raised was concern over the decision to delay the visa liberalization for Georgia and the implications for Ukraine.

The email revealed that “GS” – meaning Soros – “is also meeting [Georgian] President [Giorgi] Margvelashvili today and speaking with PM Groyman,” referring to Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman.

The email stated that Soros told Hahn “that Ukrainian civil society is concerned that without reciprocity from the EU for steps Ukraine has taken to put in place sensitive anti-corruption and anti-discrimination legislation and institutions it will not be possible to continue to use the leverage of EU instruments and policies to maintain pressure for reforms in the future.”

Soros also “urged Hahn to advocate with member states to move ahead with visa liberalization for Ukraine,” the email related.

“I’m sure you’ve been working this issue hard; if you have any thoughts on how this is likely to play out or where particular problems lie I’d appreciate if you could let us know,” the email concluded.

Goldstein’s email text sent to Nuland and Ciaramella was not addressed to any one individual. Nuland replied that she would be happy to discuss the issues by phone. Goldstein set up a phone call and wrote that Soros specifically asked that an employee from the billionaire’s “personal office” join the call with Nuland.

The email was released last August as part of a separate Freedom of Information Act request by the conservative group Citizens United.  The FOIA request was unrelated to Ciaramella.

Johannes Hahn, referenced in the emails as meeting with Soros about Ukraine, is the European Commissioner for Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations. In 2015, Hahn participated with Nuland in the YES Summit, which bills itself as “the leading public diplomacy platform in Eastern Europe.” Another summit participant was Vadym Pozharskyi, a board advisor to Burisma, the Ukranian natural gas company at the center of the impeachment trial and the allegations related to Hunter and Joe Biden.

On scores of occasions, Hahn was a featured speaker at roundtables and other events produced by the Atlantic Council think tank, which is funded by and works in partnership with Burisma. The Atlantic Council is also financed by Soros’s Open Society Foundations and has been in the news for ties to various actors associated with the impeachment issue.

In one of several instances, Breitbart News reported, itinerary for a trip to Ukraine in August organized by the Atlantic Council reveals that a staffer on Rep. Adam Schiff’s House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence held a meeting during the trip with Acting U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor, now a key witness for Democrats pursuing impeachment. The Schiff staffer is also an Atlantic Council fellow, while Taylor has evidenced a close relationship with the Atlantic Council.

Breitbart News previously reported on other emails that show Ciaramella worked closely with Nuland. Nuland has come under repeated fire for her various roles in the anti-Trump dossier controversy.

In their book, Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin’s War on America and the Election of Donald Trump, authors and reporters Michael Isikoff and David Corn write that Nuland gave the green light for the FBI to first meet with Steele regarding his dossier’s claims. It was at that meeting that Steele initially reported his dossier charges to the FBI, the book relates.

FBI notes cite career Justice Department official Bruce Ohr as saying that Nuland was in touch with Fusion GPS co-founder and dossier producer Glenn Simpson.

Sen. John McCain, who infamously delivered the dossier to then-FBI Director James Comey, reportedly first dispatched an aide, David J. Kramer, to inquire with Nuland about the dossier claims.

Meanwhile, looped into some other email chains with Ciaramella was then-Secretary of State John Kerry’s chief of staff at the State Department, John Finer.

An extensive New Yorker profile of Steele named Finer as obtaining the contents of a two-page summary of the dossier and eventually deciding to share the questionable document with Kerry. Finer reportedly received the dossier summary from Jonathan M. Winer, the Obama State Department official who acknowledged regularly interfacing and exchanging information with Steele, according to the report. Winer previously conceded that he shared the dossier summary with Nuland.

After his name surfaced in news media reports related to probes by House Republicans into the dossier, Winer authored a Washington Post oped in which he conceded that while he was working at the State Department he exchanged documents and information with Steele. Winer further acknowledged that while at the State Department, he shared anti-Trump material with Steele passed to him by longtime Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal, whom Winer described as an “old friend.” Winer wrote that the material from Blumenthal – which Winer in turn gave to Steele – originated with Cody Shearer, who is a controversial figure long tied to various Clinton scandals.

In testimony last year, Nuland made statements about a meeting at the State Department in October 2016 between State officials and Steele, but said that she didn’t participate.

At a June 2018 hearing, Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) revealed contents of the State Department’s visitor logs while he was grilling Nuland. At the hearing, Burr asked: “I know you talked extensively with our staff relative to Mr. Steele. Based upon our review of the visitor logs of the State Department, Mr. Steele visited the State Department briefing officials on the dossier in October of 2016. Did you have any role in that briefing?”

“I did not,” Nuland replied. “I actively chose not to be part of that briefing.”

“But were you aware of that briefing?” Burr asked.

“I was not aware of it until afterwards,” Nuland retorted.

Nuland did not explain how she can actively chose not to be part of Steele’s briefing, as she claimed, yet say she was unaware of the briefing until after it occurred. Nuland was not asked about the discrepancy during the public section of the testimony, which was reviewed in full by Breitbart News.

Nuland previously served as chief of staff to Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott under Bill Clinton’s administration, and then served as deputy director for former Soviet Union affairs.

Nuland faced confirmation questions prior to her most recent appointment as assistant secretary of state over her reported role in revising controversial Obama administration talking points about the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attacks. Her reported changes sought to protect Hillary Clinton’s State Department from accusations that it failed to adequately secure the woefully unprotected U.S. Special Mission in Benghazi.

Likely ‘whistleblower’

A RealClearInvestigations report by investigative journalist and author Paul Sperry named Ciaramella as best fitting the description of the so-called whistleblower.

Officials with direct knowledge of the proceedings say Ciaramella’s name has been raised in private in impeachment depositions and during at least one House open hearing that was not part of the formal impeachment proceedings.

Federal documents show Ciaramella also worked closely with Joe Biden and worked under Susan Rice, President Obama’s national security adviser. He also worked with former CIA Director John Brennan, an anti-Trump advocate who has faced controversy for his role in fueling the questionable Russia collusion investigation.  Rice participated in Russia collusion probe meetings and reportedly unmasked senior members of Trump’s presidential campaign.

Sperry cites former White House officials saying Ciaramella worked for Biden on Ukrainian policy issues in 2015 and 2016, encompassing the time period for which Biden has been facing possible conflict questions for leading Ukraine policy in light of Hunter Biden’s work for Burisma.

Mark Zaid and Andrew Bakaj, the activist attorneys representing the so-called whistleblower, refused to confirm on deny that their secretive client is indeed Ciaramella.

“We neither confirm nor deny the identity of the Intelligence Community Whistleblower,” the lawyers told the Washington Examiner in response to an inquiry about Ciaramella.

Zaid and Bakaj added, “Our client is legally entitled to anonymity. Disclosure of the name of any person who may be suspected to be the whistleblower places that individual and their family in great physical danger. Any physical harm the individual and/or their family suffers as a result of disclosure means that the individuals and publications reporting such names will be personally liable for that harm. Such behavior is at the pinnacle of irresponsibility and is intentionally reckless.”

Soros funding and ‘whistleblower’ complaint

Besides Burisma funding, the Atlantic Council is also financed by Soros’s Open Society Foundations, Google, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Inc., and the U.S. State Department. Google, Soros’s Open Society Foundations, the Rockefeller Fund, and an agency of the State Department each also finance a self-described investigative journalism organization repeatedly referenced as a source of information in the so-called whistleblower’s complaint alleging Trump was “using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country” in the 2020 presidential race.

The charges in the July 22 report referenced in the so-called whistleblower’s document and released by the Google and Soros-funded organization, the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), seem to be the public precursors for a lot of the so-called whistleblower’s own claims, as Breitbart News documented.

One key section of the so-called whistleblower’s document claims that “multiple U.S. officials told me that Mr. Giuliani had reportedly privately reached out to a variety of other Zelensky advisers, including Chief of Staff Andriy Bohdan and Acting Chairman of the Security Service of Ukraine Ivan Bakanov.”

This was allegedly to follow up on Trump’s call with Zelensky in order to discuss the “cases” mentioned in that call, according to the so-called whistleblower’s narrative. The complainer was clearly referencing Trump’s request for Ukraine to investigate the Biden corruption allegations.

Even though the statement was written in first person – “multiple U.S. officials told me” – it contains a footnote referencing a report by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP).

That footnote reads:

In a report published by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) on 22 July, two associates of Mr. Giuliani reportedly traveled to Kyiv in May 2019 and met with Mr. Bakanov and another close Zelensky adviser, Mr. Serhiy Shefir.

The so-called whistleblower’s account goes on to rely upon that same OCCRP report on three more occasions. It does so to:

  • Write that Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko “also stated that he wished to communicate directly with Attorney General Barr on these matters.”
  • Document that Trump adviser Rudy Giuliani “had spoken in late 2018 to former Prosecutor General Shokin, in a Skype call arranged by two associates of Mr. Giuliani.”
  • Bolster the charge that, “I also learned from a U.S. official that ‘associates’ of Mr. Giuliani were trying to make contact with the incoming Zelenskyy team.” The so-called whistleblower then relates in another footnote, “I do not know whether these associates of Mr. Giuliani were the same individuals named in the 22 July report by OCCRP, referenced above.”

The OCCRP report repeatedly referenced is actually a “joint investigation by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) and BuzzFeed News, based on interviews and court and business records in the United States and Ukraine.”

BuzzFeed infamously also first published the full anti-Trump dossier alleging unsubstantiated collusion between Trump’s presidential campaign and Russia. The dossier was paid for by Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee, and was produced by the Fusion GPS opposition dirt outfit.

The OCCRP and BuzzFeed “joint investigation” resulted in both OCCRP and BuzzFeed publishing similar lengthy pieces on July 22 claiming that Giuliani was attempting to use connections to have Ukraine investigate Trump’s political rivals. The so-called whistleblower’s document, however, only mentions the largely unknown OCCRP and does not reference BuzzFeed, which has faced scrutiny over its reporting on the Russia collusion claims.

Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.

Joshua Klein contributed research to this article.

Alleged ‘Whistleblower’ Eric Ciaramella Worked Closely with Anti-Trump Dossier Hoaxer


Reported by Aaron Klein | 

URL of the original posting site: https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/11/06/alleged-whistleblower-eric-ciaramella-worked-closely-with-anti-trump-dossier-hoaxers/

WASHINGTON, DC – JUNE 20: Former Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland testifies during a hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee June 20, 2018 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The committee held a hearing on “Policy Response to Russian Interference in the 2016 U.S. … Alex Wong/Getty Images

Eric Ciaramella, whom Real Clear Investigations suggests is the likely so-called whistleblower, was part of an Obama administration email chain celebrating the eventual signing of a $1 billion U.S. loan guarantee to Ukraine.

That and other emails show Ciaramella interfaced about Ukraine with individuals who played key roles in facilitating the infamous anti-Trump dossier produced by Fusion GPS and reportedly financed by Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee. One of those individuals, then-Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland (pictured), received updates on Ukraine issues from dossier author Christopher Steele in addition to Nuland’s direct role in the dossier controversy.

Also part of the email chains was Christopher J. Anderson, who was a special adviser to former special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker. Anderson testified to the Democrat-led House committees running the impeachment inquiry.

Ciaramella’s name comes up in six Obama-era government emails that were released by the State Department as part of two previous Freedom of Information Act requests.  At the time of the exchanges, Ciaramella served as the Director for Baltic and Eastern European Affairs for the Obama-era National Security Council, where he worked on Ukraine policy.  He is now an analyst at the Central Intelligence Agency.

One email, titled, “Loan Guarantee,” involved Nuland, who was reportedly a key champion of the Ukraine loan guarantee policy.

“Hurray,” a celebratory Nuland wrote in response to a translated Ukrainian government announcement about the signing of the $1 billion loan guarantee.  The announcement singles out Joe Biden as being present for the conclusion of an agreement leading to the loan guarantee.

Ciaramella was one of several people CC’d in the email, which was sent from the U.S. ambassador at the time, Geoffrey Pyatt, who was another key champion of the loan guarantee to Ukraine along with Nuland.

The email is one of several that shows Ciaramella in the loop with top officials such as Nuland working on Ukraine policy under the Obama administration.

The loan guarantee was pushed through after Ukraine agreed to several reforms, especially the firing of the nation’s top prosecutor, Viktor Shokin. This at a time that Shokin was reportedly investigating Burisma, the Ukranian natural gas company paying Hunter Biden.  Joe Biden infamously boasted on video about personally threatening to withhold loan guarantees from Ukraine unless Shokin was removed.

Another released email shows Ciaramella himself sending a message to Nuland and others. Most of the contents are blocked out, including the email’s subject line. One non-classified section of that email shows a reply stating, “Embassy Kyiv — coordinated with our USAID mission folks — will have detailed input tomorrow.”

One email involving Nuland was sent two days before the loan guarantee was signed on June 3, 2016. “Can you confirm who will be doing the actual signing for each side?” the exchange asked.

Nuland has come under repeated fire for her various roles in the anti-Trump dossier controversy.

FBI notes also cite career Justice Department official Bruce Ohr as saying that Nuland was in touch with Fusion GPS co-founder and dossier producer Glenn Simpson.

Sen. John McCain, who infamously delivered the dossier to then-FBI Director James Comey, reportedly first dispatched an aide, David J. Kramer, to inquire with Nuland about the dossier claims.

In their book, Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin’s War on America and the Election of Donald Trump, authors and reporters Michael Isikoff and David Corn write that Nuland gave the green light for the FBI to first meet with Steele regarding his dossier’s claims. It was at that meeting that Steele initially reported his dossier charges to the FBI, the book relates.

Meanwhile, looped into email chains with Ciaramella was then-Secretary of State John Kerry’s chief of staff at the State Department, John Finer.

An extensive New Yorker profile of Steele named Finer as obtaining the contents of a two-page summary of the dossier and eventually deciding to share the questionable document with Kerry.

Finer reportedly received the dossier summary from Jonathan M. Winer, the Obama State Department official who acknowledged regularly interfacing and exchanging information with Steele, according to the report. Winer previously conceded that he shared the dossier summary with Nuland.

After his name surfaced in news media reports related to probes by House Republicans into the dossier, Winer authored a Washington Post oped in which he conceded that while he was working at the State Department he exchanged documents and information with Steele.

Winer further acknowledged that while at the State Department, he shared anti-Trump material with Steele passed to him by longtime Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal, whom Winer described as an “old friend.” Winer wrote that the material from Blumenthal – which Winer in turn gave to Steele – originated with Cody Shearer, who is a controversial figure long tied to various Clinton scandals.

In testimony last year, Nuland made statements about a meeting at the State Department in October 2016 between State officials and Steele, but said that she didn’t participate.

At a June 2018 hearing, Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) revealed contents of the State Department’s visitor logs while he was grilling Nuland.

At the hearing, Burr asked: “I know you talked extensively with our staff relative to Mr. Steele. Based upon our review of the visitor logs of the State Department, Mr. Steele visited the State Department briefing officials on the dossier in October of 2016. Did you have any role in that briefing?”

“I did not,” Nuland replied. “I actively chose not to be part of that briefing.”

“But were you aware of that briefing?” Burr asked.

“I was not aware of it until afterwards,” Nuland retorted.

Nuland did not explain how she can actively chose not to be part of Steele’s briefing, as she claimed, yet say she was unaware of the briefing until after it occurred. Nuland was not asked about the discrepancy during the public section of the testimony, which was reviewed in full by Breitbart News.

Nuland previously served as chief of staff to Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott under Bill Clinton’s administration, and then served as deputy director for former Soviet Union affairs.

Nuland faced confirmation questions prior to her most recent appointment as assistant secretary of state over her reported role in revising controversial Obama administration talking points about the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attacks. Her reported changes sought to protect Hillary Clinton’s State Department from accusations that it failed to adequately secure the woefully unprotected U.S. Special Mission in Benghazi.

Likely ‘whistleblower’

A RealClearInvestigations report by investigative journalist and author Paul Sperry named Ciaramella as best fitting the description of the so-called whistleblower. Officials with direct knowledge of the proceedings say Ciaramella’s name has been raised in private in impeachment depositions and during at least one House open hearing that was not part of the formal impeachment proceedings.

Federal documents show Ciaramella also worked closely with Joe Biden and worked under Susan Rice, President Obama’s national security adviser. He also worked with former CIA Director John Brennan, an anti-Trump advocate who has faced controversy for his role in fueling the questionable Russia collusion investigation.  Rice participated in Russia collusion probe meetings and reportedly unmasked senior members of Trump’s presidential campaign.

Sperry cites former White House officials saying Ciaramella worked for Biden on Ukrainian policy issues in 2015 and 2016, encompassing the time period for which Biden has been facing possible conflict questions for leading Ukraine policy in light of Hunter Biden’s work for Burisma.

Mark Zaid and Andrew Bakaj, the activist attorneys representing the so-called whistleblower, refused to confirm on deny that their secretive client is indeed Ciaramella.

“We neither confirm nor deny the identity of the Intelligence Community Whistleblower,” the lawyers told the Washington Examiner in response to an inquiry about Ciaramella.

Zaid and Bakaj added, “Our client is legally entitled to anonymity. Disclosure of the name of any person who may be suspected to be the whistleblower places that individual and their family in great physical danger. Any physical harm the individual and/or their family suffers as a result of disclosure means that the individuals and publications reporting such names will be personally liable for that harm. Such behavior is at the pinnacle of irresponsibility and is intentionally reckless.”

On Sunday, Trump responded to press reports naming Ciaramella, calling him a “radical” known for his close ties to Brennan and Rice.

“Well, I’ll tell you what. There have been stories written about a certain individual, a male, and they say he’s the whistleblower,” Trump told reporters. “If he’s the whistleblower, he has no credibility because he’s a Brennan guy, he’s a Susan Rice guy, he’s an Obama guy.”

Trump added, “And he hates Trump. And he’s a radical. Now, maybe it’s not him. But if it’s him, you guys ought to release the information.”

Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.

Joshua Klein contributed research to this article.

Rand Paul Blocks Vote on House Measure Condemning Trump’s Syria Withdrawal


Written by Joshua Caplan | 

URL of the original posting site: https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/10/17/rand-paul-blocks-vote-on-house-measure-condemning-trumps-syria-withdrawal/

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., walks to the Senate as an 11th-hour Republican rescue mission to keep President Donald Trump from a Senate defeat on his signature issue of building barriers along the southwest border seems near collapse, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, March 13, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), one of Congress’s most prominent non-interventionists, blocked a move on Thursday to bring a House-approved measure formally condemning President Donald Trump’s withdrawal of U.S. troops from northern Syria.

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) attempted to gain consent to introduce the measure to the upper chamber’s floor, but because it requires unanimous consent, any senator has the ability to thwart it.

“The most important thing we can do right now is send President Trump a message that Congress, the vast majority of Democrats and Republicans, demand he reverse course,”Schumer said.

Paul argued Schumer was attempting to circumvent the U.S. Constitution by bringing the measure to a vote.

“He should come to the floor and say that we are ready to declare war. We are ready to authorize force, and we are going to stick our troops in the middle of this messy, messy, five-sided civil war where we would be ostensibly opposed to the Turkish government that has made an incursion,” he said.

The House had passed a resolution Wednesday condemning President Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria in a 354-60 vote.

The move by Paul comes as U.S. officials said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has agreed to stop its offensive in Syria, signaling an end to a military campaign that has so far killed dozens of Kurdish fighters and drawn international condemnation.

Vice President Mike Pence announced the agreement for a five-day cease-fire after hours of bilateral meetings in Ankara among U.S. and Turkish officials — which included Erdogan and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. The situation will be re-evaluated at the end of the five-day deal.

Erdogan’s forces began Operation Peace Spring a week ago in northeast Syria, to clear border territories of Kurdish fighters so Ankara can send back Syrian refugees who fled to Turkey. The Turkish leader has previously insisted he would accept no cease-fire.

“The United States and Turkey have both mutually committed to a peaceful resolution and future for the safe zone, working on an international basis to ensure that peace and security defines this border region with Syria,” Pence stated.

The UPI contributed to this report. 

9/11 Mastermind, 4 Co-Conspirators Still Awaiting Trial 18 Years Since Attacks


Reported by Edwin Mora | 

URL of the original posting site: https://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2019/09/11/9-11-mastermind-4-co-conspirators-still-awaiting-trial-18-years-since-attacks/

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, 911 mastermind, was allowed to build a vacuum will in a secret CIA prison in Romania keep him from going nuts. / HO/AFP/Getty Images

The death penalty trial of the self-proclaimed 9/11 mastermind and his four co-conspirators held at the U.S. military prison in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, is still pending nearly two decades after the jihadis executed the attack, the deadliest on American soil.

In an unprecedented move, however, the judge overseeing the military tribunal at Gitmo finally set a date at the end of last month for the start of the trial for the five defendants.

On August 30, U.S. Air Force Col. Shane Cohen, who took over as the judge overseeing the case in June, said the trial would begin January 11, 2021, as the nation approaches the 20th anniversary of the day that triggered the longest war in American history.

The United States invaded Afghanistan in October 2001 to remove the Taliban from power for harboring the late al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in the days leading to the attack and prevent the South Asian country from again becoming a haven for terrorists seeking to attack America.

Afghanistan is now home to the “highest regional concentration” of terrorist groups in the world, including the Taliban, al-Qaeda, and the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL), the Pentagon reported in July.

Pre-trial hearings for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM) and the four other men alleged to have played vital roles in helping carry out the massacre on September 11, 2001, resumed Monday.

As the U.S. holds another memorial service Wednesday for the nearly 3,000 people killed by al-Qaeda 18 years ago, the five defendants will still be awaiting trial.

KSM and his co-conspirators — Walid Muhammad Bin Attash, Ramzi Bin Al Shibh, Ali Abdul-Aziz Ali, and Mustafa Ahmed Al Hawsawi — could face the death penalty.

The U.S. is still holding the five terrorists at the detention facility in Guantánamo, commonly known as Gitmo.

U.S. authorities did not arraign KSM and his four co-conspirators until May 2012, more than a decade after the attacks. American service-members captured KSM in 2003 and transferee him to Gitmo in 2006.

The military commission at Gitmo has repeatedly delayed the prospective trial of the 9/11 perpetrators in U.S. custody.

In setting the trial date, Judge Cohen acknowledged that the U.S. military base at Guantánamo “will face a host of administrative and logistics challenges,” the Military Times reported.

National Public Radio (NPR) added:

[A] number of other deadlines would need to be met for the long-delayed trial to begin.
That includes the U.S. government turning over all evidence it is required to give to defense attorneys. Lawyers for the five defendants say prosecutors have not been forthcoming.
Several defense attorneys told NPR they think the scheduled trial date is unrealistic, and they say Guantánamo isn’t physically ready for a trial of that magnitude. But prosecutors have been asking for a trial date for several years and say that finally having one will motivate all parties to meet the deadline.

The tribunal overseeing the case of the 9/11 attackers is a hybrid of the federal and military justice system.

This week, the German news agency Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA) revealed:

Crucial pre-trial hearings for the accused mastermind of the September 11, 2001 attacks and four other men alleged to have played key roles in helping carry out the passenger plane hijackings will resume on Monday (September 9) in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba
[KSM], who confessed to being involved in the capture and murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, was subjected to extensive torture and was waterboarded 183 times.
The procedure simulates a drowning experience.
Lawyers for the defense are arguing that any confessions or other material should be invalidated because of the torture and are likely to file motions to have the entire trial set aside.

Gitmo is still housing 40 jihadis, the majority of whom are considered “forever prisoners,” or too dangerous to release.

U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration has only transferred one detainee out of the facility. Former U.S. President Barack Obama had approved the prisoner for release.

The Trump administration is considering sending newly captured terrorists to the prison, particularly the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) jihadis.

Citing the slow-moving pace of the military commissions and the cost of operating Gitmo, critics continue to argue in favor of allowing civilian courts on U.S. soil to handle the remaining cases.

U.S. law approved under the Obama administration, however, makes it impossible to transfer any Guantánamo prisoner to the United States.

Gitmo’s military tribunals have only produced eight convictions, including four overturned completely and one partially.

KSM and the other four defendants are among the only seven prisoners still held at Gitmo who face charges before a “military commission.”

Of the four overturned convictions, the military commission will have to deal with three. The other prisoner has appealed his life sentence to the U.S. Supreme Court.

U.S. authorities only charged 16 detainees held at G with criminal offenses, Human Rights Watch reported.

Yemenis make up the single largest national group at the prison, followed by Saudis.

NGO: Fulani Killings of Nigerian Christians Amount to ‘Genocide’


Written by Edwin Mora | 

URL of the original posting site: https://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2019/07/23/ngo-fulani-killings-of-nigerian-christians-amount-to-genocide/

Nigerian pilgrims wait outside the Tomb of Jesus during their visit at the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem's Old City on February 25, 2016. / AFP / THOMAS COEX (Photo credit should read THOMAS COEX/AFP/Getty Images)
THOMAS COEX/AFP/Getty
 

US sending 1,000 more troops to Middle East


Written by Zachary Halaschak | June 17, 2019 08:22 PM

The U.S. is sending an additional 1,000 troops to the Middle East amid increasing tension between the U.S. and Iran. Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan announced the additional forces in a statement Monday evening, saying that the increase came at the urging of U.S. military leaders in the Middle East.

“In response to a request from the US Central Command for additional forces, and with the advice of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and in consultation with the White House, I have authorized approximately 1,000 additional troops for defensive purposes to address air, naval, and ground-based threats in the Middle East,” Shanahan said in a statement.

“The recent Iranian attacks validate the reliable, credible intelligence we have received on hostile behavior by Iranian forces and their proxy groups that threaten United States personnel and interests across the region,” Shanahan said.

“We will continue to monitor the situation diligently and make adjustments to force levels as necessary given intelligence reporting and credible threats,” he added.

A pair of oil tankers were attacked earlier this month in the Gulf of Oman. The U.S. and the U.K. have placed blame for the attack on Iran. The move came just hours before Iran reportedly fired a surface-to-air missile at a U.S. drone. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed the tanker attacks on the “maximum pressure campaign” that the U.S. is waging against the Iranian regime, targeting its financial industry.

“Iran is lashing out because the regime wants our successful maximum pressure campaign lifted,” Pompeo told reporters last week. “The international community condemns Iran’s assault on the freedom of navigation and the targeting of innocent civilians.”

Last month, four other tankers were targeted by Iran in what Pompeo described as an Iranian attempt to inflate international oil prices.

The U.S. also recently deployed the USS Abraham Lincoln carrier strike group and a bomber task force to the Middle East.

Classified Iran briefing becomes heated as Trump team clashes with Democrats


Reported by Joel Gehrke | May 21, 2019

A classified Senate briefing on Iranian plots against the United States turned into a tense clash between top U.S. officials and lawmakers frustrated with President Trump’s strategy toward Tehran.

“I would say there was a lot of heat in that room,” Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, told the Washington Examiner following the Tuesday afternoon briefing.

Key congressional Democrats suggested that President Trump’s administration was preparing for military conflict with the regime based on faulty intelligence or even false pretenses after ambiguous U.S. warnings that Iranian proxies might attack American personnel in Iraq. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan sought to allay that suspicion in separate meetings, first with House lawmakers and then the Senate Tuesday afternoon.

“Today I walked them through what the Department of Defense has been doing since May 3, when we received credible intelligence about threats to our interests in the Middle East and to American forces, and how we acted on that credible intelligence,” Shanahan told reporters after the Senate briefing. “That intelligence has borne out in attacks, and I would say it’s also deterred attacks. We have deterred attacks based on our re-posturing of assets, deterred attacks against American forces.”

The controversy shifted in the briefing to complaints that they didn’t communicate with Congress enough in recent weeks and a broader protest against the administration’s withdrawal from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, a top contender for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, was among the most aggressive in raising the specter of being misled into a conflict with Iran.

“Most Americans know way back when we were lied to about the situation in Vietnam and we went into a war which ended up costing us 59,000 lives, based on a lie,” he said. “In 2003, we were lied to in terms of Iraq supposedly having weapons of mass destruction.”

Sanders refused to answer whether he believes such lies are being told now. “I won’t talk about what we heard in the meeting,” he said. “But let me just say that I worry very much that, intentionally or unintentionally, we create a situation in which a war will take place.”

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer avoided that controversy entirely, focusing only on the frustration that the administration didn’t provide more information to lawmakers over the last three weeks.

“I told the people who were briefing us that I thought the consultation with the American people and the Congress was inadequate,” the New York Democrat told reporters in a brief appearance, without taking additional questions. “Both the American people and the Congress read about a lot of actions in the newspapers and had no idea what was going on. I told them they had to make it better next time.”

Shanahan acknowledged that desire for more information. “We heard feedback that they’d like more conversation,” he said. “They’d also like us to be more communicative with the American public, and we agreed to do more of that.”

Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin, a senior Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, conceded that the meeting was a “very helpful” survey of the intelligence reports and U.S. responses. Another lawmaker confirmed that the meeting was testy, but in this telling the confrontation was bipartisan and focused more on the administration’s policies than suspicions that they are fabricating intelligence.

“A number of them questioned the conclusions of the administration about the reaction of the Iranians and what it might lead to,” a Democratic senator, speaking on condition of anonymity, said after the briefing. “I think there’s a lot of us with real misgivings about how serious this is and how much is a creation of the administration’s own provocative policy.”

Shanahan stressed that the administration, which has deployed an aircraft carrier strike group to the Persian Gulf and threatened devastating consequences for attacks on Americans, is trying to avoid a conflict.

“Our biggest focus at this point is to prevent Iranian miscalculation,” he told reporters. “We do not want the situation to escalate.”

Cruz kept the focus on Democratic hostility to Trump and their fidelity to the nuclear agreement that former President Barack Obama’s team negotiated with Iran.

“Far too many congressional Democrats are invested in appeasement for Iran, which manifests in effectively defending the mullahs against maximum pressure,” he told the Washington Examiner.

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